The Splatters Review
The Splatters Box Art
System: Xbox 360
Dev: SpikySnail Games
Pub: Microsoft Game Studios
Release: April 11, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Mild Fantasy Violence

And that can be one of the game's biggest issues: feedback. It doesn't really provide enough of it, to tell you what it is that you didn't do that you should have or that you did do and shouldn't have. Levels sometimes have fairly obvious intentions for certain Splatters, but most of the time it's up to you to come up with an efficient yet showy solution, and sometimes what you get feels awfully tame and exploitative. "This shouldn't really work," you'll say to yourself. "The game will find some way to punish me for it, right?" Except it will work and the game won't really punish you. Watching the uploaded replays of absurdly acrobatic rounds by top players, you'll find yourself thinking, "That's cool, but isn't that totally unnecessary?" The Splatters, despite its three-star rating system that demands replay of levels due to the excessive dearth between most two-star and three-star ratings, failed to lock into that circuit that makes me sink my teeth into a level until I've achieved a full rating in it, the one that has seen me spend hours obsessing over a single puzzle in Cogs, trying to find the most efficient solution instead of just "eh, whatever works."

The Splatters Screenshot

I think the most damning thing about The Splatters is that, in a level-based puzzle game, I never saw a single layout that stuck in my mind. The best such experiences leave a real impression on me, a particularly devious and/or well-designed brain teaser that I describe excitedly to friends, or at least remember fondly from time to time whenever the game is brought to mind. Instead, in such situations, I find myself picturing the overly-jubilant Splatters and the hodge-podge pastiche of inspirations that formulate each stage, seemingly from the mind of a very structured and tame Dali.

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This is a game that would be most at home on smartphones, alongside fare such as Angry Birds, retailing for a dollar or two and drawing crowds with its slick production values and simple yet enjoyable core gameplay. As a $10 Xbox LIVE Arcade title, though, it lacks variety and inspiration, its puzzles never providing an "aha!" moment nor doing enough to stand out on a purely visual basis. The game doesn't do anything inherently wrong, no, but it doesn't do enough right to justify its price, and that is plenty wrong in my book.

By
Shelby Reiches
Contributing Writer
@Shelby_Arr
Date: April 25, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
Endearing character designs, great use of motion blur, and satisfying physics make for a colorful, visual treat.
3.5
Control
There isn't a lot to remember, yet mistakes will still be made because one button does many different things depending on context. Also, aiming feels imprecise at times.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Nothing that really stands out, but nothing offensive, either. Could use more memorable music, to be sure.
2.0
Play Value
Despite the large number of levels, the similarity of each experience breeds monotony, and there simply isn't enough to the core gameplay to justify either the amount of content or the price tag attached to it. It overstays its welcome.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Master a variety of unlockable stunts and perform unimaginable moves to clear out each stage in the most spectacular way possible
  • With its original physics-driven liquid engine, unlimited replayability, and competitive leaderboards you'll never play the same way twice.
  • Stunts are unlimited, and as soon as you unlock one, it's yours to use any time you want. The rule is simple: the more stunts you do with every move you make, the more spectacular your show becomes.


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